UTK_icon_vegetarianMost people who choose a vegetarian diet rely on beans, lentils, and legumes for their primary source of protein.  If you enjoy that food group, then most likely you can lead a healthy vegetarian lifestyle.

However, what if you are a vegetarian who does not like beans?

For average sedentary adults, the daily diet should include 40 grams of protein.  This may sound like alot, however, with the proper food choices, you can easily get this even as a vegetarian.  And there are definitely hidden sources of protein that you may not be aware of!

  1. Nuts and seeds – Nuts are very high in protein.  This includes a wide variety so you are sure to find a favorite.  Two tablespoons of peanut butter contains, on average, about 8 grams of protein.  One ounce of cashews contains about 4 grams, and one ounce of sesame seeds comes in with 6.5 grams.
  2. Fruits and vegetables – Who knew a fruit could be high in protein?  For every 8 ounce serving of mashed avocado, you can add about 5 grams of protein to your daily intake.  Bring on the guacamole!  Per one cup serving, spinach contains 5 grams and peas contain about 9 grams.
  3. Soy products – This category includes tempeh, tofu, edamame, and even soy-based ice cream.  Who knew ice cream would make it on the list?  A mere half-cup service of tofu contains 10 grams of protein while tempeh has about 18 grams per 100-gram serving.  These meat alternatives can be added to nearly any dish such as stir fry, pasta sauce, and even soup.
  4. Whole grains – The most popular whole grain for protein content is quinoa.  One cup of this cooked whole grain has 18 grams of protein.  This is an excellent choice of protein since most of the whole grains are also high in fiber.  Brown rice is also an excellent option.
  5. Dairy and eggs – Obviously, this is an option for vegetarians but not for vegans.  The other options on the list would work for either, but this one is specifically for vegetarians.  The average egg contains 6 grams of protein while one cup of yogurt can have up to 13 grams.

These ingredients can be found in many different food products such as spinach quiche, frozen steamed edamame, or even peanut butter nutrition bars.  Through the soon-to-be-released makeena iPhone application, you can easily find products that contain these ingredients so that you can add a new variety to your vegetarian diet.

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